Article written by Rachel Mounsey and published in

Pride in culture: William Webb dances at Haycocks Point during filming of ” The Power Within” Photo: Rachel Mounsey

Eden’s indigenous youth have come to the final stages of an exciting half year project collaborating with Fling Physical Theatre to create an original music video featuring the teens, set to be released in coming weeks.

As part of the “Beats Project” the group worked with locally renowned creatives and mentors, Gabriela Green Olea, Chelsy Atkins, Meaghan Holt, Warren Foster and Shaquille Aldridge to write, record and produce the inspiring song, dance and video clip.

The six month project saw the teenagers participating in cultural and hip- hop dance, songwriting, singing, rapping and film making workshops. As well as reflecting on themselves and their community as indigenous Australians through in depth discussion and journal writing.

The experience culminated in the writing and recording of an original track titled “The Power Within.”

The song was recorded at Merimbula School of Music by Chelsea Atkins and Ricky Bloomfield.

The film clip was shot at various significant locations across Eden by Sydney film maker Catherine Knight and David Dixon over the past week.

Fling Physical Theatre dance development officer and project leader Gabriela Green Olea said the group had come a long way from start to finish and are beginning to recognise their potential as future leaders in their community and beyond.

“The opportunity to be guided by working artists has shown there are real prospects out there and they can achieve them. They proved to themselves that they can do it, and have gained an important sense of self belief.”

Cultural advisor and mentor to the group Meaghan Holt said the confidence and personal growth individuals had gained throughout the experience was unbelievable and encouraged the teens to continue on their path of “deadliness”

“Working with each artist, the kids were able to find a space to express themselves and even when they weren’t confident they gave it a go any way. It took a lot of courage from many of them.”

After recently discovering her Aboriginal heritage,17-year-old Latesha Pateman said participating in the project gave her a deeper connection to her culture.

Inspiring mentor Shaquille Aldridge plays the didge at Haycocks Point during filming. Photo: Rachel Mounsey

“It’s made me feel new on the inside and special…like I fit in somewhere,” she said.

Participants William Webb and Harley Warnke said having local mentors like Shaquille Aldridge teaching dance and cultural practices was inspiring them to aim high and achieve their dreams.

“I can see myself rising to the top,” William Webb said.

The project was supported by Campbell Page and funded by Create NSW.

The music video launch date is yet to be confirmed.